Posted in ebb & flow, meandering, storytelling

Words words words SO MANY WORDS!

October and November hold quite a few anniversaries for me: my birthday and The Kid’s birthday. Getting National Board Certified. Finishing chemo.

Today is none of those.

I made it a year! Every day, a post has gone live. Days I was sick. Days I was on vacation. Days that were just regular days. Sometimes written and scheduled ahead of time; sometimes written ahead of time but not scheduled and then oh crap I didn’t publish that post yet!; sometimes written, edited, and posted in short order.

Not all of them have been my best work, but I think that’s within the realm of reasonable.

It feels good to have made it this long. I recommend trying it. (If you do, let me know!)

Woot! Yay! Hooray!

Of course, once I hit “publish,” the last square on that year (in the photo) will fill in.

Getting followers was not my goal, but as you started to trickle in and accumulate, I started to notice. I was hoping to hit an even 100 followers by today and thought I had 97, but when I went into stats areas I don’t typically go (looking for something else), I noticed that email subscribers are counted separately. 100 followers!

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In chronological order, here are my posts from the last year with the most likes. (They’re set to open in new tabs.)

Update: accountability to self

It’s normal. But is it good?

Distracted exercising

Do something for you

Go get what you deserve

Junk on vacation: how I managed it

I like sweating

School, escapism, perfectionism

Standards and accountability and homework

Goal-setting, goal-pursuing, and real life

Making just a little time to let yourself feel better

Workplace wellness

The hidden side of … everyone

As I mentioned a couple of months ago, I’m going to cut down to three or four posts per week so I can dedicate more time to working on my book. I foresee returning to daily posting once that writing project is complete.

Thanks for reading, for liking, for commenting. I appreciate the interaction. I hope I’ve made a positive impact on your life in this journey.

 

 

Posted in about me, gifts, parenting, storytelling

Father’s Day gifts…belated

So … it’s not anywhere close to Father’s Day.

Here’s the story:

The Kid and I went to Burst of Butterflies, a local painting place (canvas, ceramic, etc.) where he painted two small identical tiles that said #1 Dad.

We were traveling for the actual holiday and picked up the tiles after we returned. We had talked about what we were going to do with them but didn’t do it.

And didn’t do it.

And forgot about it.

A week or two ago, I was cleaning out one (of too many) piles in the office and found the tiles.

Oops.

So I mentioned it to The Kid, and we decided to continue with the plan.

What was the plan again?

I’m not sure that what we settled on is exactly what we had decided originally, but what we made turned out well.

He chose a photo of himself with each daddy; I had them printed.

Using some craft foamy stuff, hot glue, and wide popsicle sticks, we made a picture frame for each photo (photo very much not removable), then added the tile to the top left corner, as per The Kid’s requirements.

We agreed that magnets would be the best way to make them hangable—they’re very imbalanced—but I don’t have any on hand. Those will need to be added later.

Overall, they turned out well, and we’re both happy with how they look. As for the daddies? They haven’t seen them yet, but moreso than in June, they’re sure going to be surprised!

Also, on a tangent: as we were getting all of the materials out and organized, The Kid said, “You know, Mom, we could make a video about making this and post it on YouTube. And then other kids could know how to make a great Father’s Day present.”

We could. But Mama is tired. And other minor resistances.

So when I sat down to write a blog post and was completely uninspired, I asked The Kid, “What should I write about?”

“Mom! You should write about making the Father’s Day presents! It’s a good story!”

And so it came to be.

By request:

The end.

Posted in connections, differences, mental health, mindset, socializing, storytelling, thoughtfulness, vulnerability

Statistics vs. actual people

Individual stories are where real emotional power lies.

I mean, that 3,000 people were killed is quite something.

That millions were killed in WWII is staggering.

They’re numbers. They’re big numbers. They’re easy to wield, hard to comprehend.

“A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.”

Stories? Those are where power lies. Not because it’s not sad to lose thousands of people at once, but because stories are where we connect.

That’s why there are transcriptions of last phone messages from 18 years ago.

That’s why a group (or more than one, possibly) is putting together the story of each individual person we lost in the terrorist attacks in 2001.

That’s why Anne Frank’s diary is so compelling.

That’s why we don’t interview people who are Other.

When we hear someone’s story and are open to it, we connect with our shared humanity. There are parts of their story that could be our story. It touches us. (Sometimes a story touches us despite our best efforts to stay closed. Those are the best.)

So … listen to people. Especially people who are different than you. Listen to their story. Connect with them. Share your humanity.

Posted in differences, ebb & flow, mindset, motivation, storytelling

The freedom of doing things just for fun

Last night, my name was picked and I got to tell a story on stage at The Moth.

(I didn’t tell any stories involving wedding dresses, as they ended up not making good stories. More like good anecdotes. I told a story about a brazen comment in a conversation with my first principal-to-be.)

Because I didn’t think of a good story until I was parking my car, I didn’t have time to practice telling it out loud. It wasn’t as polished as I would have liked, but it came out well, the audience was responsive, and I had a good time.

The judges were not impressed, and my scores were pretty low (relative to the way scores typically run). And while that stung for a moment, overall, it didn’t matter.

I got to go on stage, tell a story, make people laugh a little, and have a good time. My motivation wasn’t to win or to achieve a certain score.

It didn’t matter what the judges thought, and their opinion didn’t take away from the fun I’d had in performing.

If they had loved it and I scored well—aside from a really high score also not being appropriate because it wasn’t that good—that would have added another dimension, but either way, it doesn’t change the experience of the performance itself.

This lack of being tied to the outcome is a relatively new thing for me.

I’ve had a bit of it in learning to play ukulele. I felt pressure to play a little bit well when I played with classes, but I have been playing just for fun for a few years now.

I had some but not enough in the bouldering competition I entered last year.

The photography game app has been delightful to get positive feedback from, but there are definitely some pictures that I like a lot that I think are objectively good photos that just don’t get a lot of attention.

And it doesn’t matter. Because I’m taking pictures for me. As long as I like them, they’re good. It’s disappointing if no one else likes them, but the people in the app aren’t my primary source of validation. (But I’m close to finishing in the top 100 in one of these silly games, and I’m pretty excited about that! I digress.)

Even blogging. It’s important to me that what I put up here is well-written and thoughtful, but ultimately, I’m writing to write. Very different experience than when I was blogging as part of my business.

Many things that I’ve done for fun in my life have been solitary and without tangible results. For example, I’ve always liked to read in my free time. There’s nothing external to disconnect from.

And the activities that had results were fun but anxiety-provoking because I was always worried about how I was being judged. Music especially.

So my next step is to see if I can infuse this disconnect into other areas of my life, because it’s very liberating. It doesn’t provoke poor quality—probably better quality in many cases, because I’m not stressed or anxious—and it’s just … fun. Even when it’s work, it’s fun.

Process. Not results.

Posted in mindset, storytelling

Boldness

I’m volunteering at The Moth StorySlam tonight in Phoenix. While I’m there, I can throw my name into the hat for an opportunity to tell a 5-minute story on stage.

(I’ve had the opportunity to tell stories twice. One went well; the other, not so much.)

The theme this month is BOLD.

I’ve been thinking … what have I done that is bold and makes a good story?

What have I done that is bold?

I came to realize that it depends on perspective. I’ve been called synonyms of bold for wearing my hair really short. I don’t feel bold doing it, though. Authentic? Lazy?

Perhaps I need to shift my point of view to see what an audience might see as bold.

Unless I think of something better, I’m going to talk about getting married … twice … with no white dresses involved. Which, much like my hair, doesn’t feel bold but was a big deal the first time. (I think for second marriages, people at large are more chill. And also, my mother wasn’t involved at all.)

What have you done that is bold? Does it feel bold to you?